"Did you have it? I'm sorry, John, I don't remember"
There are absolutely shedloads of online cardrooms where you can sign up, log on and lose your shirt. And I should know, my wardrobe's been empty for years. The clever money puts the number at over 300 of the buggers, and I don't have the time, patience or the inclination to give you a rundown on each and every one of them, but here's a wee sampling of some of the more popular ones I've come across, with a brief bit of bumph on what you can expect to encounter if you open up an account and actually start playing there...
Help me support my numerous wives and offspring!
If you like what you see/read and decide you might want to sign up to one of the sites below, please do me a BIG favour and click on one of the pretty pictures on the left. Assuming I've actually got round to entering my affiliate ID and coded everything correctly this will entitle me to receive frankly quite ridiculous amounts of wonga which I promise to re-distribute to the rest of the poker community in a very short space of time by playing bad cards out of position, calling when I should fold, and raising when I'm drawing dead.
Innovative, crisp graphics and smooth, fast software make playing at Titan a pleasure. Add to that some one of the most generous deposit and referral bonuses available (up to $500 free - 100% match), fantastic customer service and one of the lowest rakes available and you'll understand why Titan are tipped to be one of the most popular online card rooms out there.
I'm not a big fan of the graphics, but in terms of sheer numbers Party is hard to beat. At peak hours they probably have in excess of 100,000 players online, so you should always be able to find a beatable game. Rakes at lower limits are higher than at other sites. Extremely generous signup and reload bonuses make this a great site for Bonus Whores everywhere.
Extensive advertising (all those bloody billboards) has resulted in an influx of new blood and some very soft competition and has made Pacific a top place to play and to make money. Good signup and reload bonuses, although the conditions to unlock them are quite stiff. Omaha8 tables (if that's your poison) are very loose. Around 5000+ players can be found at peak times.
Smooth, fast software make playing on Paradise a pleasure, although (as with Pokerstars) the standard of play is often quite high. Bonuses are smaller than at other sites and they can take a while to unlock but they do run some interesting promotions from time to time and their multi-table tournaments are always very popular.
VC was the first place I played online poker, so I've always had a bit of a soft spot for it. The gaming software is excellent, and there are usually around 2000 users online at peak times, many of them attracted by the regular free tournaments. Cashing out is very simple and very straightforward. All round VC is an excellent online site with great customer service round the clock.
Bet365 Poker is part of the bet365 Group Limited, one of the UK's largest betting and gaming groups. They offer the usual range of games and limits with daily freeroll multitable tournys. This particular site seems to be dominated by US players, many of whom are actually rather good. Bet365 tends to attract around 5000 players during the peak hours of the day.
William Hill is probably one of the most popular online rooms in Europe, with soft games and generous bonus packages. It is one of the few UK rooms also open for US players. Games are very loose even by my standards, so if you are looking for an easy seat -look no further! They also pay you to play, which can't be bad. Part of the Cryptologic network, so a large shared player base.
Like Willy Hill, this is a UK-bookie run site, and one of the busiest poker rooms in Europe, but no Americans are allowed (is this good or bad?)! PL & NL tables are busy, busy in the evenings (our time!) although I'm not a huge fan of their software (Prima). Payouts are quick and easy and up to 5000 players can be found online at peak times.
A Crypto site this one, so the software is a bit slow, but it looks pretty, as can be evidenced stage left. They run a nice little promo whereby they pay you to play. You get £25 for every 250 hands you play, good once a month. They also pay up to $500 if you're lucky enough to make a Royal Flush!
The Gaming Club was the World's FIRST ever online poker room, and is very popular with low stakes players. Part of the Prima Network, they have daily $1000 freerolls and new signups can earn up to $300 in bonus money for a deposit as low as $20, great if you're in the position of being able to play shitloads of hands in your first month.
The only site I know that is compatible with Macs. Why that should be, I have not the slightest clue. Great looking 3D interface, and a healthy 20% first deposit bonus. Games are extremely good, graphics are fast, and play is very competitive. You'll find lots of very good players on pokerroom - it's not a site full of fish like Party or Empire. Woody can often be found online here.
True Poker features high-end 3-D graphics, avatars and realistic sound effects, but takes it a step further - your hole cards are dealt to you face down! This means if the flop is all of one suit and you pick up your hole cards to see if you have a four flush the other players at the table will actually get to see your Avatar do this! Clever stuff!
My favourite online poker site, and where we host the 7-2offsuit online weekly tourneys. The overall standard of play on 'Stars is probably higher than at any other site I've seen. Great tournaments, and a very good site to hone your poker skills and get better at the game over time, if that's your goal. Reload bonuses don't expire on here either.
Bodog is another one of the 'new kids on the block' and their poker software looks great and plays well. Most of the games on their site are micro-limit NLHE ring games and tourneys, and are typically extremely loose. Very often their tourneys have great overlays so it's well worth signing on the dotted line and depositing your money for them alone!
This is where Boston hosts the UKTP weekly game. Probably the best of all of the Prima sites to play at because of the number of 'skin-specific' promotions they run. Like Pacific, due to extensive advertising RV has some of the loosest, craziest games around at the moment, both in ring games and tournaments. Sign up today and start splashing around!
If you play poker online to make money rather than just to pass the time while The Wife watches 'Morse' (that would be me) then this is the place to be. Full of fish, and always easy to find a good game. With over 45,000 registered players Empire are I'd say without question the largest online poker room out there - it's a bloody aquarium I tells ya - an aquarium!
Play against the pros - no jopke! Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson, Andy Bloch, John Juanda, Clonie Gowen and Howard Lederer all play on this site (at low limit tables!) - there are not many online sites out there where you can test yourself against true Tournament veterans like these - but can you win? Download, sign up, log in and go put Hellmuth on TILT - do it for me!
My second favourite site at the mo, Ultimate Bet has become one of the world’s leading poker rooms over the course of the last year. Slick, smooth and fast software, plenty of players, plenty of action, and endorsed my top pros like Annie Duke, Hellmuth, and The Devilfish. One of the best signup/reload and reward programs available in poker - sign up today!
Another relative newcomer to the online poker world, Absolute have a well put together site which is fairly comprehensive in scope and easy to navigate and while I'm not entirely crazy about the site graphics, their poker software seems to run well. The overall standard of play at middle limits, especially NLHE, is quite high. The site is endorsed by Mark Seif.
A Crypto site (so the same player base as sites like William Hill) Inter Poker features some very loose action games and offers a fantastic ($300!) signup bonus combined with a very attractive $100 monthly loyalty bonus to all of its players. It's by no means the busiest online poker room out there, but if you're looking for a soft seat this site has got to be about as good as they come.
This is a fairly new online poker room, and features bespoke (yet still stable!) software. It's affiliated with PokerSchoolOnline so much of the player base is made up of - erm - relative 'newcomers' to the game, which could be a good thing or a bad thing. As a result of this, however, most games played on Bugsy's Club are actually for relatively low stakes, say up to $1/$2.
100% match signup bonus up to $900! Did that get your attention? This is a relatively new site, and these guys are obviously keen to attract new players. Low rakes, soft games and (as you can see) a choice of the standard top-down view or a rather fancy-pants 3D view. I reckon this site will go places given time and sufficient player traffic.
Betfair is another UK site which does not allow our American cousins to play. Another Crypto site, so the games are generally pretty soft and loose. Betfair also run a fairly interesting 'prop player' program, where they will pay you between $10-$20/hr to start new tables or play in short handed games. Check out the juicy action at the Omaha/OH8 tables if you decide to sign up.
Look familiar all you Victor Chandler players? That would be because Doyle's Room shares the same client base and software as VC poker and Golden Palace (Tribeca). Nice graphics, fast, smooth gameplay, regular freerolls, soft competition and very stable software mean this site is growing fast. Signup now and get a FREE copy of Super System 2!
Yet another Cryptologic skin, so expect the games at Caribbean Sun to be characteristically loose at most levels. They offer few 'skin-specific' promos to speak of, but they run a $40 per month loyalty bonus (250 hands to release), the usual 'prop' player program, and also offer a 100% match signup bonus, so regular players can definitely reap the rewards from this site.
- "Behold the power of the Beer Hand!" -